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USA bid for 2018 World Cup still on course


Remember when Jack Warner stated a week ago that he would urge the United States not to bid on hosting the 2018 World Cup? It doesn’t look like that message is going to be heard.

Sunday’s USA-Argentina match, played in front of a near sellout just months after being announced, provides the latest evidence of the United States’ ability to host a successful World Cup again.

"Sunday showed what we can do," U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said of Sunday’s match, referring to the ability to announce, plan and coordinate a near sell-out of a match at Giants Stadium in a matter of months.

U.S. Soccer still hasn’t made a formal bid, but is in the process of considering one and all signs are pointing to a bid happening.

"We will make a decision in the next two or three months, but we are looking at it very seriously," Gulati said of a potential U.S. bid for 2018. "I can’t think of any reasons why we wouldn’t bid for 2018.

"We’ve done this before and been successful at doing it," Gulati said. "We are determined to finish what we started in 1994."

If the United States does bid for the 2018 World Cup, the new Giants Stadium is expected to be the featured venue for the tournament. If Sunday’s display is any indication, another United States World Cup could potentially be even more successful than the 1994 tournament.

What do you think about the increasing likelihood of a USA bid for the 2018 World Cup? How excited are you about the possibility of the World Cup returning to the United States? Share your thoughts below.

“By (2018) Giants Stadium will have been completely rebuilt and the new stadium would surely be the jewel in the crown of a US World Cup bid,”  FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer said after the USA-Argentina match on Sunday.


  1. A lot of people here have made some great comments and some valid points. I like to face the music and appreciate honesty. With that said, $ dictates almost everything in life. FIFA is not any different. There is no doubt that the US can dwarf any competing bid financially. Our Achilles heal is two fold; 1.) The Atmosphere and 2.) FIFA would love nothing more than to return the World Cup to football’s birth place, England. There is not much we can do about FIFA’s fascination with a reunion with England. But, everyone in this forum/blog knows that US can throw a party and anyone who has ever been to a WC knows it is nothing but a party. We can emphasize the tournament around (as the NFL refers to them) “remarkable cities” such as:

    (this is in no particular order)

    New York City: New Giants Stadium will be built and ready. NYC is considered the World’s Capital. Manhattan is as good as it gets in terms of diversity and international atmosphere. Hotels and public transportation are plenty.

    New Orleans: We can put in grass in the Superdome. By 2018 there may be a new stadium in NO. The NFL is our best friend in this case as they have primed the great state of Louisiana for a new stadium. As for the French Quarter? It will be there! If NO can handle the SuperBowl, it can handle the WC.

    San Francisco: We can only dream and hope there is a new 49er’s stadium built by then. If it is, GAME ON!! SF is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. ABC’s cameras would love the panoramic shots of the Golden Gate and a soccer ball. You can’t tell me Chinatown wouldn’t be a madhouse when China is playing. And Fisherman’s wharf would be electric the entire time. Organizers can have soem sort of Football Festival on the wharf. Even for those tree hugging liberal nutts from Berkeley can appreciate a world class event in a world class city like SF.

    Chicago: Chicago is America’s second city. How can anyone not love Chicago? Every sports fan appreciates Chicago’s love for their sports. They can play in historic Solder Field and have a huge beer garden festival up and down Michigan avenue. Wrigglyville can welcome the all beer drinking football fans and Cubs fans share drinking sorrows with English fans since neither have won a major championship in most of our lives.

    San Diego: SD is the Finest City. Beaches. Entertainment. Culture. History. Again this depends on if the Chargers get their new Stadium. For anyone who witnessed the Gaslamp District in downtown San Diego during Super Bowl XXXVIII, it was exciting and alive! I can only imagine what it would be like with screaming Germans, boisterous Italians, angry Argentines and proud Americans. Epic.

    That is just five cities, we can go on all day about Seattle, Boston, Los Angeles (more cons than pros), Denver (altitude will be a problem but Microbrews are a plus!!), Phoenix, Houston, Dallas and Washington DC.

    The US actually wants the World Cup, lets bring it back and show the world what a world class event is!

  2. @Lou…not sure about the other stadiums but Univ of Phoenix stadium in Arizona was designed with a field made to accomodate soccer matches, Phoenix wants to host at minimum WCQ’s if the WC was to come to the US they will push hard to be a venue.

  3. Chicago should be the main venue

    Chicago can keep up the new stadium they are building for the 2016 Olympics plus the new infrastructure and Olympic Village.

    additionally Soldier Field will still be around

    As will Toyota Park

  4. Wonder if Chuck Blazer aka Fat Chuck fka Big Chuck nka Charlie Fatty is on our side? It would be interesting to see him battle it out with Jack “I-might-be-the-most-corrupt-soccer-offical in the universe” Warner. Cleary Charlie Fatty has a lot of weight to throw around, no pun intended, but Dirty Warner has all those Carribean island “nations” in his back pockets. Come on Chuck, bring home the bacon!!

  5. Regionalizing will never float, Gulati will get all sorts of heat from owners in all markets.

    I dont envy Gulati for 2 reasons, 1) he will have one hell of a time making everyone happy, and 2) he cant go on amusement park rides.

  6. Chris-

    Those stadiums you listed are all wonderful places to watch American Football, but they all have the same problems. The playing surface is far too narrow without major structural projects. Fifa now requires all-seater stadia, those sites all have majority bench seating. And most importantly, all those sites are in relatively small towns. The majority of current patrons live within driving distance. For a WC you are going to need tens of thousands of hotel rooms.

  7. it’s not size that will matter, or should matter, actually. it’s money and attendance.

    the U.S. has a lot of people that don’t care much about soccer. but don’t forget there are 400 million people in the U.S. you don’t need a high percentage to still have 40 or 80 million people in this country interested. not to mention travelers, in the millions.

    Not to mention the travel and tourism industry in the U.S. would be more than capable of taking care of the influx of teams and supporters.

    South Africa has 43 million people total, and I can only imagine less capacity to hold millions of visitors. they have an outburst in political violence just unfolding again, and a violent attitude towards immigrants that is showing up among refugees.

    I don’t see what the U.S. has against it that South Africa does not.

  8. I live in Birmingham, AL and would love to see any professional level soccer reach us in the deep south. We have the 80,000 – 100,00 seat stadiums avaliable via college football:

    Knoxville, TN – 104,000

    Tuscaloosa, AL – 92,000

    Athens, GA – 92,000

    Baton Rouge, LA – 92,000

    Gainsville, FL – 88,000

    Auburn, AL – 87,000

    Columbus, SC – 80,000

    Clemson, SC – 80,000

    And why not use Bristol Motor Speedway for the final and fit 165,000 people in there?

    But to be honest, all of the cities above do not have the hotel structure or the tourism interest. Also, the view of soccer in the deep south has only changed a minimal amount since 1994. I know of only one person who keeps up with international soccer and NO ONE who keeps up with MLS. I start talking about anything other than “David Beckham” and people have this blank look on their face.

  9. people need to remember that the south/texas will not play a huge roll because of the mid summer heat. the stadia used will need to have retractable roof systems- like reliant and u of phoenix. expect the northern cities to have more games. remember the old silverdome had games- in detroit of all places.

  10. 1. New Meadowlands (NYC)

    2. L.A. Coliseum (Los Angeles)

    3. Soldier Field (Chicago)

    4. Reliant (Houston)

    5. U of Phoenix Stadium

    6. Lincoln Field (Phila)

    7. New Cowboys (Dallas)

    8. Fed-EX Field (Wash.)

    9. Qwest Field (Seattle)

    10. Gillette (Boston)

    11. Dolphin’s Stadium (Miami)

    12. Jack Murphy (San Diego)

    Alternates: Oakland, Detroit, Cleveland, Baltimore, Tampa, Jacksonville etc. – we could probably hold 2 WC’s at once.

    no infrastructure or hotel building necessary in any of the above cities. Only L.A. Coliseum and Jack Murphy need updating. And we could do it in 2010 if South Africa falters or 2014 if Brazil falters.

  11. I would love to see a Regional styled world cup! Then we could host it again in 12 years. But it would suck to leave out the rest of the country. Think about it. Texas could almost host the cup buy itself.

    Cotton Bowl

    Texas Stadium

    The New Texas stadium

    University of Texas

    Texas A&M

    Reliant Stadium



    That’s Eight that hold 55K or more in one state!

    Expand this beyond the state of texas and go into the south region:

    Superdome, Georgia Dome, Charlotte, Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami, RFK, Fed Ex, etc.

    The southern states would have all the hospitality, food services, attractions and venues one could ever need.

    Just think about it . . .

  12. 2018 would be the perfect timing for the US. The sport will be the #4 sport in the country by then. With a good USMNT showing in 2010 or 2014 WC, the casual fan will be on board. As for the stadium atmosphere, here in Orlando it was unbelievable inside and out. The Dutch, Irish and Belium fans I partied with thought US hosting was fantastic(maybe it was all the hashish the dutch fans brought with them). They had no qualms about the geography of the event. Downtown was rocking every night, with or without matches being played(of course it sucked in Dallas because Dallas sucks!). Match day, the fans walked from downtown to the stadium (1/2 mile) and sang along the way. I am not saying Orlando should get matches, but the matches should be in cities that can provide the atmosphere and stadia.

    As for TV, the US day games are on at night in Europe so ratings will be very high there. We have similar timezones as South America, so their TV ratings will be strong. Ratings = $$$. We now have ESPN, FSC and several spanish language networks broad casting live soccer here in the US, that was not the case in 1994. They would not be doing that if there was no money to be made.

    As for Gulati, he may do nothing for the USMNT or US soccer development, but he is well regarded in FIFA circles and has the right make up to get us another WC. The $$$,$$$,$$$.$$ FIFA would reap would be enormous and US cities will be bending over backwards to get games. Gold plated redcarpets will be rolled out for FIFA and that is what they care about.

  13. I think you probably have regional pods for individual groups. The 32 team tournament versus the old 24 team tournament actually makes venue scheduling easier in that there are no 3rd place teams making the second round. There is no reason to just place all the games in one region, besides you miss some of the best parts of the country doing that. Having 4 days between games in Los Angeles and Phoenix would be one of the best sightseeing trips of the entire tournament. We have a lot as a nation to offer World Cup fans between games than just staying in the host city and drinking beer for the entire week.

  14. @ Weaver 83. Nashville’s LP Field is a great NFL stadium but for the World Cup, I’d say its a tad small compared to other venues being looked at. “The Album” in Music City is middle of the pack for NFL stadium size. I’d love to see a game there but I can’t see it being WC caliber.

  15. daniel-

    1st- mls team in ATL?? you are far behind on possibly getting a team…. STL, NYC, Portland and another canada team (they have 2 locations prime and ready) are more likely canidates..

    2nd- having a WC match in a SSS in the US seems grossly disproportional… most MLS SSS hold at most 22k…. even in 10 years i couldnt see many SSS being much more then 30k at most…. by the slim chance ATL gets a team, they would have even LESS time to build a fan base to expand a SSS

  16. I am excited…It would be great if they had the world cup in the United States. Hosting the world cup will also help promote the MLS in the US.

    People do travel to see their teams so it isn’t an issue if the team you want to cheer for is playing out west or north, etc.

  17. in terms of having games in the south (which is a must), don’t forget nashville. lp field would be a very nice place to have games. i saw the olympic qualifying semis there, and it was very accomadating for soccer. you could even throw in knoxville with neyland, although UT probably would explode if they had soccer being played on their beloved football field

  18. I’m trying to think of big stadiums that are within driving and train distance in the north east. the new giants stadium, DC,philly, baltimore,foxboro.

  19. atlanta doesn’t really have a perfect venue yet since it would be a little tough to grow grass inside the georgia dome. however, there is a chance that we will have a soccer specific stadium built by 2018 given the probability that we will have an mls team by then. i would be extatic about the u.s. hosting another world cup. it’d be our best shot at actually winning one some day.

  20. I think most / all of you ar emissing the point of why they (FIFA) want to hold the World Cup in the US in the first place. Its because in addition to the money now, its the money down the road they could gain by having Soccer take off even more in the US. So, they are actually more likely to have it spread out over the entire US. Also, they are trying to balance placating Europe – who in case you can’t tell alreayd drink the cool aid – and places like the US, Asia, Africa – where significant room for growth can occur. And, the US because of its spending power is at the top of their wish list.

    So, the atmosphere article is a little weak IMO. Of course its better in Europe. The point is ho wmuch can we improve the atmosphere of the World Cup and beyond by having it in the US. And as comparison, not every baseball stadium in the US has a Wrigly or Fenway atmosphere – most of them are crap outside the stadium. Same thing is / will be true for soccer.

  21. Why not just have the WC in the greater NY area including boston, philly, this way its close by to the other venus. And Im sure fans will travel from everywhere to be at the world cup.

    Also, why is Sunil Gulati in charge of US soccer, does anyone know what his degree is in.

  22. I would rather the us bid for a certain area to host it.. like on the east coast with NY, Mass, DC, Batlimore all in relatively close proximities..

    Or like chicago, STL, Cleveland, Detroit, Pitt.. I think something more regional would add to atmosphere..

  23. The size of the country hurts, but if I remember correctly they tried to keep people in the same general area. Any where on the east coast is close and Seattle to LA is a 3 hour plane flight, which wouldn’t be that difficult to plan.

    As for the atmosphere outside the stadium I don’t think FIFA cares, and I am guessing that it would be better the next time it comes around.

    Who knows what the economy will be in 10 years, but if the pound and Euro have the value they do now against the dollar the euorpeons will love coming here again.

  24. I think the too big argument is a bit overblown if you’re comparing it to the 94 World Cup. Back then football was hardly looked at, but by the time the US is able to secure a World Cup in the next 10 to 18 years football will have grown by leaps and bounds. We might even have more excellent football stadiums to hold it in (Arizona’s University of Phoenix stadium I hear is one of them) plus even bigger national support for our home team. I’m still blown away that ESPN has EURO 08 coverage on their main page at all.

    Why not keep in major cities like the Northeast, Chicago, and the Northwest where football is bigger than the rest of the country? I’d have most of them on the both coasts with emphasis to try to keep the driving distance between each stadium in their respective region short. Places like New York (New Meadowlands), Boston (Foxboro), Philadelphia (The Linc), Washington DC (New Redskins Stadium if it’s actually completed, if not FedExField), Atlanta (maybe, have no idea if there’s a good place to play there), maybe a Florida match (Tampa, Jacksonville) with Chicago (Soldier Field), Arizona, LA, San Francisco, Seattle, and maybe either Portland or even Texas? You could also have New York have two fixtures and eliminate Florida.

    Domestic airfare is pretty cheap and holding it in major cities would boost the atmosphere having things close together. There’s also major railways on each coast which can help (although I have no idea the state of Amtrak these days).

  25. (1) FIFA is dirty, and it all comes down to what kind of deals USSF cuts behind closed doors.

    (2) Why is Jack Warner head of CONCACAF? Let’s be clear, without the US, CONCACAF doesn’t exist. It’s financing is dependent on the United States — the #2 country (Mexico) doesn’t even play friendlies at home anymore, because they can make far more money playing in the US. The President of CONCACAF should be American.

  26. you want to know whats funny…

    the Colts are hosting the 2012 Superbowl with their new stadium finishing before this season… BUT, they are building a hotel down the street that will be the tallest building in Indianapolis and around that building will be 4 more hotels joining it…. also they are already redeveloping the area around the stadium to have a nicer reinvested area around the city…. its funny that they are doing all that for an event that occurs every year and may not be seen in indy for another few decades, but do we truely expect the same style of developement for the WC??

    i agree with quite a few of you when i say the vast majority of americans wouldnt bother with it… BUT with the growing numbers of immigrants in and around the major cities where these games will be held at will help drastically… NY, Chicago, LA…. all cities with VERY diverse populations and this should help.. the only difficult part is the “reinvesting” and “redevloping”… will the city care all that much?? yes it’ll bring in tourism but to what extent would they go above and beyond for it??

  27. I went to a couple games at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas back in 1994, and ohmyessien is exactly right. Although there was coverage in the local media, most people were more interested in the baseball scores than the soccer. In fact, I’d venture to say that the majority of the country didn’t even know there was a sporting event of this magnitude occurring. Sad but true. The size of the country is both the biggest plus and the biggest minus. Are things better now with MLS, etc.? Most definitely. Will things be even better in 10 years? We can certainly hope so.

    Having said all that, the US can easily host an incredible tournament. Don’t forget about the Texas facilities — Reliant is fantastic for soccer, and the new Cowboys stadium looks unreal on paper. And by the way, Jack Warner is a tool and can f*ck right off!

  28. The sport continues to grow here in the US. In ten years soccer will have an even greater foothold here. And most educated sports fans do appreciate the significance and passion of a World Cup. It is basically the only soccer event that the mainstream media actually attaches onto. So I think a World Cup in America in 10 years could have an excellent atmosphere. All it would take for the public to get behind it would be the media consistently pumping it up.

  29. Other countries can’t come close to the financial and attendance benefits the U.S. provides.

    The 1994 World Cup is the highest total (let me repeat, total attendance, not average) in World Cup history. Keep in mind, the 1994 World Cup had 12 less matches than we have now. Average attendance was around 69,000, while the average attendance in 2006 was around 52,000. That is a difference of 17,000 people a game. If 2018 was in the States, it would easily pass 4,000,000 total attendees and probably hit 4,500,000.

  30. I have a good friend in Germany who loves soccer and he refused to believe me when I told him that in 1994, we set the record for attendance at the World Cup. When I showed him the proof, he downplayed it because he said this was only due to the fact that we have larger stadiums. I think his point was that we just do not have a soccer environment. As much as will surely make money for FIFA if we host the World Cup, I don’t think we can just wow them by showing them a profit and loss statement. We need to address the atmosphere for the World Cup, too. And as someone else suggested who posted here, we really need to demonstrat an ability to fill the modestly sized soccer-specific staadiums that MLS teams are increasingly playing in.

  31. atmosphere may lack in the streets, but being in major cities when the world cup is going on was awesome, I’ve never seen more people in pubs & bars that early then in 2006. Will the average american care… probably not. But out of 300mil i’m betting 125-150 will care, and then add in all the border jumpers from canada & mexico combined with all the other followers of the game. There will be a good amount of people and i think most will be surprised with teh following.

  32. Seven:

    MLS is over 10K. But that aside – what the US – Argentite crowd shows is the overall (and growing) appetite for soccer in this country. A tipping point will be reached where the general soccer fan comes to accept that they will see a good product on the field at an MLS game. Once that happens, we’re going to see 20K as the standard, and more.

    As for the others raising concerns about the atmosphere outside the stadiums, that is legitimate, but by 2018, the excitement level about soccer in this country will be considerably higher than 1994. In fact, it already is. Back then, it was a curio for the “Wide World of Sports” generation. It would be HUGE in 2018, a major, major event. There will be a lot of buzz and atmosphere.

  33. Really Nick?? Not England, Germany, Italy, Holland. If it comes down to money it might be going to the middle-east. I believe Dubai is considering a bid

  34. Freddy will be 29….Jozey will be 28 and our youth teams have been getting stronger and stronger. I think we would have a great chance to play well in 2018.

  35. Maybe some of that organizational talent should be lent to MLS clubs so that they can get their attendance over 10K. There’s no doubt that the US could organize, but I think the size of the country kills much of the atmostphere & the ability of fans to travel to multiple games & it is too soon.

  36. As has been said in the past, we are the only country in the world that could host the World Cup with 2 day’s notice. I think we could hold the World Cup and the Summer Olympics at the same time and have both sold out with no problems. Our bid for the World Cup will always be the best one in terms of profitability and attendance, but because we are not in Europe, that will knock us down a few points. I think if it came down to the wire, we would be able to get FIFA more money, which all they really care about anyway.

  37. ohmyessien has it spot on. The U.S. would be the most well attended World Cup — but the atmosphere outside the stadiums will be poor. In Germany, there was excitement EVERYWHERE on the streets, in train stations, even airports. Here, most people will not even know it’s going on.

    We can offer the best accomodations, but ten years from now, Jim Rome will still be alive and kicking.

  38. the one problem with the US is its size. its too big. im all for having the world cup in the USA again, but the atmosphere suffers a little bit and teams are forced to play in one specific area because of time zones and such. a fan of the US in NY may never get to see them if they play in LA or even Houston. its too costly and time consuming to get around. but in terms of sponsors, attendance, world class stadiums, security, and so on, the US are hard to beat.


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